Declaration of Accountability
Code of Good Governance for Charity Organisations
The Board of Supervisors as well as the executive management of Simavi endorse the code of good governance for charity organisations and operate accordingly. Compliance is monitored by the CBF (Central Bureau for Fundraising). The basic principles of good governance are embedded in Simavi’s governance model and focus on separating the supervisory, executive and accountability functions. On the CBF’s advice, a few amendments to Simavi’s statutes were introduced at the end of 2010. These were officially effectuated at the beginning of 2011 and involve tightening restrictions of the articles that monitor the impartiality of supervisors. This is precautionary. The CBF had observed no concerns in this regard in the current Board of Supervisors.
Tasks and responsibilities of the Board of Supervisors and the executive management
Simavi has a Chief Executive responsible for the daily management and a Board of Supervisors that supervises the performance of the Chief Executive and the general operations. A management team consisting of three Department Heads assists the Chief Executive. Two members of the Board of Supervisors form an Audit Committee and specifically monitor the finances and the internal quality assurance. As of 2010, Simavi is the WASH alliance’s lead agency, which means that the Chief Executive of Simavi is ultimately responsible for the alliance and for the MFS II subsidy granted to this alliance. A steering group and a secretariat will assist Simavi. Simavi’s Board of Supervisors will also carry out the task of Board of Supervisors for the WASH alliance. In addition to its supervisory task, the Board is also a sounding board and source of inspiration for the executive management.
Appointment, Remuneration and Resignation Board of Supervisors
The Board of Supervisors has a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 members. A new chairperson, Mrs. Maria Martens, was appointed in 2010. The Board now has a total of 6 members. Board members are appointed for a period of 4 years and can be reappointed once based on an evaluation of their performance. A portfolio allocation within the Board was made based on the competences of the Board members. There is a chairperson and vice chairperson. Two members sit on the Audit Committee. One Board member acts as confidential adviser for Simavi employees and confers with the staff representation once a year. The Board of Supervisors reviews its own performance once a year and as of 2010 this takes place under external guidance.
Monitoring the organisation’s operations
A quality system safeguards the quality of the Simavi organisation. The head of the Administrative Department is the quality manager. The quality system is laid down in internal handbooks that lay down the processes, procedures and policies. Internal audits of the processes are carried out annually according to a three-year schedule, which ensures that all-important processes are audited once within a three-year span. The management team makes a note of all the points for improvement obtained from audits, controls or meetings and their compliance is monitored.
An external party also frequently assesses the quality of Simavi’s internal organisation. Simavi was awarded a ISO standard certification in 2009 for which the quality system has to be externally assessed annually (by Certiked) against the ISO 9001:2008 quality benchmark. In addition, KPMG accountants conduct a financial audit annually. The quality of the organisation is also guaranteed by the CBF quality mark, which Simavi has carried since 1997 and which was prolonged for another three years after assessment in 2010. The organisation of Simavi was also positively assessed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by means of the O-test (organisation test) for applicants for a MFS II subsidy and the COCA test (Checklist for Organisational Capacity Assessment) for Embassy subsidy applicants. Simavi also meets the target values of trade organisation Partos. Simavi takes care that the organisation does not become too bureaucratic and expensive due to the accumulation of requirements and endeavours to maintain a good balance in this.
The programmes supported by Simavi are evaluated by external parties upon completion (with the exception of very small, incidental projects). Activities carried out in-house, such as education and fundraising activities, are evaluated with the relevant parties on completion. The conclusions and lessons learnt from these reviews are collated annually into meta-evaluations. In addition, Simavi conducts independent satisfaction surveys every two years among the most important stakeholders.
The Board of Supervisors meets at least four times per year. In 2010, it was agreed to increase the number of meetings to 5 to 6 times per year. The Chief Executive and the management team are invited to attend the meetings of the Board unless the Board chooses for a closed session, for example, when the performance of the Chief Executive of the Board itself is on the agenda. The audit committee meets at least twice per year to discuss the financial progress, the administrative organisation and the internal quality control within Simavi.